Judge Carrie Ann Inaba is ready to be done catching heat for the perceived unfairly low scores she has given Kaitlyn Bristowe and Artem Chigvinstev this season on Dancing With the Stars. She told US Weekly that she’s open to dialogue, but she’s not down with online bullying.
Inaba Finds the ‘Bachelorette’ Fans Hysterical
Some fans have decided that Inaba is being unduly harsh on Bristowe because she (Inaba) used to date Bristowe’s dancing partner, Artem Chigvinstev — even though it’s not like Chigvinstev and Bristowe are involved. He’s engaged to Nikki Bella, with whom he just had a baby boy named Matteo.
“I think it’s hysterical. You know what I love, though? This is what I love about the Bachelor fans and Bachelorette fans. They can create a story around it! And it’s weird because I totally understood what they were doing. They’re like, there’s jealousy there and there’s this and that because that’s what the Bachelor and Bachelorette is all about, right? It’s about creating stories about everybody.”
Inaba continued, “Look, I love Artem, I respect him, I love him and Nikki [Bella] together. I love that they just had their little baby Matteo. We’ve had Nikki on The Talk, I’m a huge fan. There’s nothing but love and I thought it was hysterical. So none of it bothers me. I know that people are passionate about Dancing With the Stars. They’re passionate about who they’re voting for. I love that.”
But Inaba Says There Is No Place for Bullying
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While she loves the fans’ passion, Inaba said that she “will not stand for bullying of me or anyone.”
“I will not [stand for it],” said Inaba. “We’ve had enough of it in our country. I’m sick of it. I’m never gonna stand for that, I’m never gonna support it. But I am OK with passion and I am OK with discussion.”
She even revealed that she has privately responded to fans who have messaged her asking about Bristowe’s scores and because they were kind in their approach to her, she responded in kind.
“They weren’t calling names or bullying. I spent a lot of time writing to them. ‘Hey, this is why, these are lifts, these are not allowed in this dance. I took off one point because they had a lift that first week then they also made a mistake and that’s usually a solid one point that comes off…’” she said, adding, “It’s passion. How you direct your passion though, not only here on Dancing With the Stars but in the world in general, we all need to be careful with and we need to check ourselves. Dialogue and trying to understand the other person’s point of view is very important to me. So I don’t appreciate people calling names and things like that. It’s not helpful. But am I interested in your perspective? Yes. Always. … But I gotta do my job! I’m a judge!”
However, it isn’t just fans who are criticizing the judges. Pro dancer Cheryl Burke recently said she thinks judges Inaba, Bruno Tonioli, and Derek Hough have been very consistent this season and are not abiding by the rules of ballroom dancing.
Dancing With the Stars season 29 has two episodes left, on Monday, November 16 and on Monday, November 23. The remaining celebrities are Nelly, Justina Machado, Kaitlyn Bristowe, Johnny Weir, Skai Jackson, and Nev Schulman. Two of them will be going home on November 16.